Most people, when witnessing an accident, their first instinct is to pull over and try and help those involved, if able. We call these people “good Samaritans” and many jurisdictions have laws protecting them from prosecution or civil liability in the event that their actions, in trying to assist another, cause harm. Wahile that instinct may be the norm, for some people, their instinct is to try and take advantage of either the people in the accident, or in this case, the good Samaritan. The Miami Herald reports on a man who stopped to assist a man whose vehicle was on fire, only to have that man steal his truck.
When he witnessed an accident on Interstate 95 in Florida, 52-year-old Felix Coffman did what many people would do. He stopped to lend a hand.
Coffman was repaid for his good deed by one of the people involved in the accident speeding off in his truck.
According to police, 27-year-old Zachary Searls crashed into another vehicle on Monday, January 14th. After the accident, Searls’ vehicle burst into flames.
Coffman described Searls driving past him at a speed that he estimated to be about 100 m.p.h. He then saw the lights from the car go off the road and into the woods. When he arrived, he stopped to check on the driver that Searls had crashed into. When Coffman turned around, Searls had taken off in his truck.
Police found the stolen vehicle outside Searls’ home within about an hour. They were able to get Searls’ address by running the plates on the burning vehicle. When Coffman confirmed that it was Searls who stole the truck, he was arrested.
Searls is being held in Volusia County Jail on $6,000 bond. He is facing charges of grand theft of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident involving injuries, no valid driver’s license, and resisting arrest without violence.